Small Great Things

Small Great Things

Sam Hallowell Character Analysis

Ms. Mina's husband; he's deceased in the novel's present but appears in Ruth's flashbacks. He used to work for NBC and announced when shows were presented in color. Though Ruth didn't see him much, when he did appear, he acted as a voice of reason and encouragement for her. When Ruth skipped school with a stomachache right after starting at Dalton, Mr. Hallowell understood that Ruth felt like an imposter and assured her that she belonged at Dalton.

Sam Hallowell Quotes in Small Great Things

The Small Great Things quotes below are all either spoken by Sam Hallowell or refer to Sam Hallowell. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism: Hate, Fear, and Grief Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Small Great Things published in 2016.
Chapter 14, Ruth Quotes

"You are not an imposter," Sam Hallowell told me. "You are not here because of luck, or because you happened to be in the right place at the right moment, or because someone like me had connections. You are there because you are you, and that is a remarkable accomplishment in itself."

Related Characters: Sam Hallowell (speaker), Ruth Jefferson
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:
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Sam Hallowell Character Timeline in Small Great Things

The timeline below shows where the character Sam Hallowell appears in Small Great Things. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
...tells the reader that the "miracle" happened in the big brownstone where Mama worked for Sam Hallowell. It was a snow day, so Ruth and her big sister Rachel went with... (full context)
Chapter 7, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Ruth tells the reader that Mama still works for Ms. Mina. Sam Hallowell is now dead, Christina lives nearby, and their son lives in London. Mama refuses... (full context)
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
One day when Ruth was a child, she unwittingly ended up in Sam Hallowell's study, which was off limits. He was inside, feeding film through a projector. Sam... (full context)
Chapter 10, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
As a girl, Ruth had semi-regular sleepovers with Christina at the brownstone. Sam would run old cartoons for the girls and Mama was always there in the morning... (full context)
Chapter 14, Ruth
Institutional Racism Theme Icon
Belonging and Community Theme Icon
Family and Shared Humanity Theme Icon
...she came down with a stomachache. Mama brought her to work and settled her on Sam Hallowell's couch with saltines and her scarf. Ruth was shocked when Mr. Hallowell himself came... (full context)